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Our Heritage Roots

The process of discovery is often a happy accident. In the case of Chevallier barley, a combination of an itchy toe, some good soil and a keen eye, turned a single ear of barley into a worldwide phenomenon and established the flavour of English beer for a century.

It’s with a similar serendipity that our heritage range came about. Our friends at the John Innes Centre were searching for an old variety that could combat the disease, fusarium head blight and happened on Chevallier. Not only did it successfully resist this disease but the malt it produced made for a beer laced with a richness of flavour we hadn’t encountered before in modern varieties. From just a handful of seeds, we have spent the past decade re-discovering the flavours of Chevallier and have been spurred on to uncover the stories and flavours of two more barleys that made brewing history, alongside our beloved Maris Otter.

We’ve worked with agronomists, biologists, our local farmers and our malting team at Great Ryburgh, to bring these four varieties together for the first time in history. We’re proud of this project and what it represents in terms of its diversity of flavour, genetics and history. We’re also proud of the connection it gives us to our own past, having been Norfolk maltsters for over 150 years. This local land returns arguably the best malting barley in the world and combining it with our traditional floor malting techniques, reminds us what it means to be maltsters; we are the vital link that connects brewers and distillers back to the farm and nature. Consumers often forget that malting barley is a natural product, with all its fragility and impermanence. These things have to be cherished and protected for future generations, and through these varieties brewers and distillers can educate and add value to the drinking experience.

These varieties aren’t easy to grow or malt, but the time and effort that has gone into their revival is testament to what we believe as a company; that quality takes time.

These malts are for the brewers and distillers that want to explore off the beaten track. We’re excited to hear what you brew with them and to taste the end result.

Explore our Heritage Collection

Making the Finest Floor Malt
Other Malts

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